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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council agenda on Monday includes discussions concerning city support to promote the development of entry-level owner-occupied homes.

The Council previously asked city staff to bring forward recommendations that would incentivize the construction of new homes with pricing below $230,000. City Council member Shaun Palmer has addressed the issue during past appearances on News-Talk 1340 KROC-AM and 96.9 FM during the Rochester Today show and has stated the entry-level houses would likely be built on concrete slabs and would not include garages, but would have space for a homeowner to add a garage in the future.

After hearing input from the elected officials, an outside consultant, community partners, and researching efforts by other communities, city staff is now asking the City Council if it would support a list of recommended incentives. The Council is also being asked to identify possible funding sources.

City of Rochester
City of Rochester

The recommendations identified by city staff include investing in land and infrastructure in advance to attract new housing development, instituting a fee reimbursement program, and reviewing the city's grading plan review process to find ways to expedite it for entry-level housing development. City staff is also recommending the use of Tax Increment Financing for the creation of owner-occupied housing units and the use of tax abatements.

The City Council agenda item cites the 2020 Maxfield Housing Need Assessment report that found Rochester faces a demand for more than 14,700 new housing units through 2030. The report noted the market is not naturally meeting the demand for housing and intervention is needed to support more owner-occupied housing.

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